I've been thinking on getting a pop up blind for deer hunting. Been making my own gruondblind for concealment. Any one use them, any tips on there use.any luck using them. or should i just stick with making one.
I use both. In my experience if the range is over 50yds, pop-ups work fine. And they are wonderful for keeping the rain and snow off you. Lets face it hunting in a downpour or wet snow sucks.
Just make sure they're not sky-lined and I beg of you don't just plunk it down in the middle of an open field and think you're fine. Set it next to a tree (better yet - behind a tree) or in some tall grass to break up the outline.
If you're situation calls for close shots, unless its there PLENTY early for the deer to get accustmoned to it (like AT LEAST a full week); or you hunt it the night you set it out before they know its there natural blinds work better for me inside 50yds.
"Brushing in" your blind is a myth...they will notice it sooner rather than later if for no other reason than the inexplicable suddenly strong smell of sap and the shiny new broken branches in the area; the sweat you'll leave behind etc etc.
Also...some mature deer will just plain be spooked by the sight of them - especially a deer that had a close call with one. They didn't live that long to get that big by being stupid afterall.
As for makes/models...if you plan to set out and leave it "cube styles" are the best. They have more room and if you make the choice to use one you might as well be comfortable. Avoid the smaller ones (teepee style or outhouse) as there are issues mnvring your rifle around in them.
I have 3 and are all dome style (2 Ameristep doghouse and 1 Easton). I like them and reccomend them, as long as you understand their limitations. The BIGGEST mistake I see is people leaving their windows too far open or not using the shoot-through mesh covers (don't shoot through the shoot through mesh either - BTW). This creates a VERY conspicuous black spot that deer will notice. If you lose the mesh, use mosquito netting or (my preferrence - just leave your windows open a little crack since the mesh reduces my ability to spot that first flick of an ear when the first deer comes in) - any thing to cover up that black hole.
I prefer to hunt without one, but I always set one or two out for really nasty days and/or for longer, more open situations.
For Whitetails I hunt a lot around ag fields and like using the natural and already present stuff to hide me. Many fields have "islands" in them of trees, cattails etc that are great. Also using hay bales, ag machinery and anything else that is always there and big enough to hide me. Just my thoughts
Ag machinery...yep. Nothing like a cultivator with the wings up to break up an outline. Makes a great rest too. This past week on Wild TV I watched a bowhunter stalk a bedded mule deer by walking behind a moving tractor as it swathed the field.
I recently completed my first skull plate mount of my buck antelope from the 2010 season. I used a kit from Van Dykes, and I thought I would pass along the tips my dad shared with me, as well as one or two I figured out on my own. I have only completed the one antelope kit, but these tips should work for kits for other species as well.
1. Leave as much depth to the skull as possible when you remove the antlers/horns from the skull of the animal. This...